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a question we asked viewers -- what would you like to see more of? the answer was clear, more about what's right in your community. about people making the bay area and the world a better place to live. over the past year, our "bay area proud" series has profiled more than 60 such people. some making a difference in big ways, others small. some spending a lifetime reaching their goal, others
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having only seconds to make a defining choice which is exactly the situation alameda county deputies tony whittle and sandra williams found themselves in one morning in april. >> some unnerving moments in the east bay -- >> on the 5:00 news that night, it was the first story after the first break. a bus carrying inmates catching fire on interstate 580. closing the road and backing up traffic. it took all of 20 seconds to tell the viewer about it. >> still unclear what sparked that blaze -- >> for those who were on the bus, the memories of the fire and what followed will last a lifetime. >> i'm glad you were okay -- >> of course, thanks to alameda deputies tony whittle and sandra williams, those on the bus still have a lifetime. the day was april 6, a friday. and deputy whittle was behind the wheel of the transport bus. deputy williams was in back, sandwiched among seven different
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locked cages. 24 prisoners inside. until they reached the stretch of 580, it had been a smooth trip. an unremarkable day. then williams heard a pop, and whittle looked out his side view mirrors. >> i could see the flames shooting out as if it was a flame thrower, if that engine was -- it seemed to be exploding at the time. >> a video posted on line from someone passing by captured what the deputies were up against. >> it wasn't just smoke. it was literally flames out the back of the bus. when he looked at me and i looked at him, he said, we got to get them out. i ran up the steps. >> without being able to see their keys, let alone the locks, deputies whittle and williams set to work, freeing the prisoners. >> and i had women out, got them here. i went and popped this back cage. >> williams, returning to the burning bus five times in order to get everyone out. >> without hesitation, without fear, without pause. without concern for her own
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safety, she knew what she had to do, and she did it. >> i'm the one who physically put them in that cage, and i locked that door. i need to unlock that door and get them out now. >> i cannot allow them to get hurt. i can't allow them to get stuck on this bus, pass out, and even die from this fire. i couldn't allow myself to let that happen. >> reporter: the bus now sits on the grounds of the santa rita jail in dublin. its charred engine and melted lights a reminder of how bad things could have been had bravery and teamwork not shown up for work that day. >> i couldn't have had a better part that day, absolutely not. i couldn't have planned it any better. >> deputies whittle and williams were recognized by the red cross as well as the chiefs' special agents association for their bravery. speaking of bravery, the nuns who run san francisco's immaculate conception academy showed a lot of it, as well. risking their own financial security for the sake of their
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students and the future of their school. there are 240 students enrolled at san francisco's immaculate conception academy. and on an average day, one quarter of them don't go to class. >> good morning. >> good handshake. got everything beautiful. >> thank you. >> which you may be surprised to learn is just the way sister lily fitzpatrick likes it. >> okay, girls, everybody here -- okay -- >> reporter: sister lily is the corporate work study coordinator. brought to work here three years ago when the school made a major change joining the cristo ray network of schools. >> let's go. >> reporter: and adopting a work study format. >> girls, do i walk too fast or do you walk too slow? >> reporter: a quarter of the student body isn't in class on any given day because they're in the real world doing real jobs. freshman carla gallo spends one day a week will do clerical work
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in oakland. >> i've never been to an office or anything. so that was a big experience. >> to could just why this catholic -- to understand just why this catholic school is the way it is, you have to understand where it was. started 120 years ago by mother maria piabachus to serve the neediest students, tuition at ica had climbed to $10,000 a year. the neediest couldn't afford the cost. and ica couldn't afford that. >> there was no money. the families we were serving could not afford that tuition. we wouldn't have been able to keep it going. the school probably would close. >> this is where the cristo ray model came in. corporate sponsors are signed up. they paid the school for the work the girls do, thereby lowering the tuition. >> which thing is the -- >> reporter: making that transition was not easy and not
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cheap. the domestic dominican sisters of san jose had to come up with millions of dollars to make the switch. to did that, they took a big risk and put their money where their faith was. >> it did come from our retirement funds, it did. yes. >> we put $3.5 million of retirement behind it. >> it may seem like a great risk to everyone else. for us, it's just been faithful to who we believe we're called to be. >> the base is always where the perpendicular is. >> reporter: the investment three years in sure seems worth it. tuition has not only dropped from $10,000 to $4,000 a year, necks year it goes down again. all available slots for the incoming freshmen class have been filled. >> good morning, my friend. how are you? >> reporter: of course, sister lily must now find the sponsors to provide the jobs for all those students, but she's optimistic. >> you've got to work really, really hard, and then you've got to trust god. and if it's meant to be, then
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things will work out. >> reporter: since our story on ica aired, sister lily tells us they've enrolled another 27 students and signed up another 18 companies. of all the people we profiled this year, view from done so good for so long as this man. the 92-year-old judo coach at san jose state is a legend in the judo world. he was coach of the united states' first olympic judo squad in tokyo in 1964. over his 60-plus-year coaching, the coach's teams at san jose states have won more than 40 national championships, and he recently received the legend award from the san jose state hall of fame. still, nothing perhaps made him prouder this year than the surprise success of the 2012 olympic games in london of one of his prized pupils. marty malloy won the bronze medal in the women's 57-kilogram category. coming up, you might call her the caped crusader.
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>> make superhero capes. that's it. >> in the light of day she's a danville mom. behind closed doofrs, she follows her cause -- doors, she follows her cause selling cape after cape.
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if there's been one theme to the "bay area proud" stories we've done about volunteers, it's that people often begin with something they know well. there was a guy who was good at repairing bikes who now fixes them for the homeless. or the couple who owned a salon giving free haircuts to seniors. barbara cakados broke the mold. she started with something she wasn't good at and turned it into something great. >> i'm going to sew it.
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>> you'd figure anyone who spent as much time at a sewing table as barbara does hers would have an amazing repetoire with needle and thread. at the very least, after thousands of hours, they could cover the basics. >> i have to make sure it lines up -- >> ask this danville mother of three to sew a button on a shirt or hem pants, and here's what she'll say. >> no. i -- i would if i could. but i can't. so i won't. >> no. there is just one thing she knows how to sew barbara. >> one thing only. >> yet hundreds who are thankful for it. >> make superhero capes. that's it. show me your muscles so i can do your arms. >> barbara's one-track sewing mission started in the family with the middle of her three sons, maddux. diagnosed with autism, maddux was having trouble dressing himself and fighting mom every step of the way if she tried to help. >> it became a daily battle that i just didn't want to deal with
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anymore. my friend had made a cape, and i had said, hey, if you let mommy dress you, you can wear your cape to school. huge. loved it. >> loved it so much and wanted so many more that barbara taught herself how to sew one. maddux's friends liked them, too, and soon barbara was making so many capes it was becoming a business. that is until a friend sent barbara a list of sick children who might like a superhero cape. she thought she'd do a few. >> well, i got that list, and there were 67 children on that list. and i couldn't pick. >> she made capes for all of them. and when the pictures came back of sick kids with smiles, a business was shelved and a cape-making crusader born. >> it's that brief time that they can smile. when they're in pain and going through stuff that no child should ever have to go through. and if you can bring a smile to that kid's face, why wouldn't
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you? we have the girl ones over here. >> barbara has just in the past few years sewn more than 500 capes. many are shipped around the country. >> can i put it on you? >> a lucky few, though, get them delivered in person. earlier this month, barbara handed out more than 60 capes to the children at stanford's ronald mcdonald house. the smiles she saw in pictures are even brighter in person. >> they wear the cape, and they feel brave. gives them that sense of it's going to be okay. it's like their blanky but a cool blanky. >> it's nice of you to join us. give us an update on what you've been -- what you've been working on. when we talked, this was still a nice thing for you. 500 capes sounds like a lot, but you were still getting your feet under you. what has happened sincen? >> i don't know where to start. minutes after the last segment aired, i got contacted literally minutes after it aired by several people who wanted to
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help. the community, there was local businesses. we have currently several seamstresses that are helping me sew which is great. we have local businesses that are doing fundraisers for the holidays. and we have actually expanded our program -- >> i was about to say you started a national campaign. >> yes. >> it was just, hey, if somebody heard and called or contacted you, you would do. it but you've reached out now nationally. >> absolutely. now we're -- we actually are planning 13 events nationally. so this all happened in the last few months. and i'm traveling to all of them so i can be there. and we have expanded it to where there's superheroes, there's treats, there's goody bags. i mean, these kids are enjoying every moment of the time that they get to be at the event. >> fantastic. keep up the good work. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much, barbara. still ahead, there's one man who never wants to escape from alcatraz. >> two convicts broke out of the factory where they worked.
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>> in fact, he wants to bring it back to the way it was. his mission and what it means for the tourists who go there every day.
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john can'twell is a man trying to put history back together on alka traz island. the 20-year veteran national park ranger has made it hismission to bring pieces of the take a look have escaped over the years back home. it's been more than a few years since the penitentiary on al alcatraz was closed for good. 60 years next march since a prison guard last worked here. a guardian angel, though -- >> how you doing? >> it has had -- >> good, you ready? >> for the past 20 years. >> excellent. >> that's how long a ranger named john cankwe-- cantwell ha
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been here. his duties are the same as other rangers, giving tours, meeting people. >> the next year, 1937. >> and sharing old stories. >> two convicts broke out of the factory where nay work -- >> there is an extra mile ranger john goes, returning to this national treasure. some of its lost treasure. >> that's what keeps me going is all these little projects that i can get involved with. >> you see, when the federal bureau of prisons abandoned alcatraz in the '60s they took everything that wasn't nailed down and a few things that were. by the time the national parks service got their hands on alcatraz, original furniture, historic artifacts, pieces of the rock if you will were scattered all over the country. ranger john's passion is to bring them back. >> as a ranger i feel it's important to help contribute to
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telling the story. >> he uses connections with former guards and ex-cons, many hue no calls friends, to locate the items. then in his words schmoozes the right people to get them back. >> isn't it great? >> it is how he brought back the officers club pool table, originally brought to the island in 1910. >> when the prison closed down, the coast guard removed the pool table. >> for 40 years, the coast guard used it in their break room. when they were done, ranger john made sure they knew who wanted it. john also helped raise the money to restore the island's original antique fire engine. >> it was a rusty, old machine when the park service arrives. >> even finding original fittings that had been removed and getting them back. >> here we go. clutch. >> perhaps his proudest achievement is something tourists don't see but definitely hear. ranger john got a texas steel
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company to fabricate and donate all the parties needed to make all of alcatraz's cell doors operational once more. ranger john says he does all this because these interpretive pieces, he calls them, make his job easier. they bring the past of the island to life. and in doing so, guarantee its future. >> to have these items on display and people enjoying them is the payoff really. >> still ahead on our "bay area proud" special, a love affair still going strong. >> after she passed, i was in a fog. >> the love affair between red and dorothy carson. when dorothy passed away, red found a way to keep her memory alive. >> it's given everything i do a meaning, a direction. >> up next, how dorothy lives on in those who shared her dreams.
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while many of the people we have profiled could rightly be called angels, only one has it written her truck. >> i wanted to get to people kind of the underlayer of -- people that wouldn't normally ask for help. >> jen holden is a one-woman peninsula food bank. she makes and delivers hundreds of meals a week. since we first profiled jen, she says her effort called angel food has grown, adding a fellow volunteer. even a corporate sponsor. still, jen says, she can't keep up with the need. sometimes good work is a team effort like the team of students at san jose's elk grove high school who rallied around samadyi jimjero. high school isn't always a welcoming place for outsiders. you can't get any more outside than samadyi.
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he speaks but one language that very few people in the world, let alone the bay area, speak. still, even though they couldn't speak each other's language, students at elk grove took it will themselves to welcome him, make sure he gets to each of his classes, even tutor him during their free time. thankfully for samadyi, catholic charities did eventually track down a few speakers to help make his transition little foreign. our final story tonight is a love story. you'd have a hard time finding anyone who loved his wife as much as red carson loved dorothy. it's something he continues to show even after her death. over on the san jose state campus, up on the fourth floor of the health services building is where you'll find clues to a love affair going back 70 years. one that's not over yet. the one between the late dorothy carson and the love of her life,
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red. >> even today, i'm as much in love with her now as i was the day she died. this one is her. >> the two met when the world was at war in 1942. red, a teenage soldier from brockton, massachusetts, was sent to be ward mfter. >> you notice how shiny the floors are? >> at a station hospital in iceland -- >> that was one of my duties. >> where the head nurse was a certain brunette from buffalo. >> i saw her sitting at the desk. immediately it was love at first sight. >> she clearly felt the same, and their bond grew as their unit moved across europe. dorothy even landing on the beaches of normandy following the d-day invasion. >> she was tagging casualties. >> the fact she was an officer and he was not meant they had to keep their relationship a secret. >> we'd go to the movies. we'd sit up in the back row in the movie house where we could hold hands, up. that was the things, little
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things we used to do just to be able to be with each other. >> after the war, red and dorothy settled in san jose where for 25 years she was night shift supervisor at san jose hospital and red, ever the dutiful husband, would every night help get her ready for work. >> i was delegated the one to do -- polish her shoes nightly. >> when dorothy died two years ago, red admits he was lost. >> after she passed, i was in a fog. >> not until he struck on the idea of starting a nursing scholarship at san jose state in dorothy's name did his life gain meaning again. he gained more than that, though. >> hi. hi. >> how are you? >> good. >> the scholarship, it turns out, came with more than money. it came with a healthy dose of red. >> we refer to him as uncle red. >> tiffany and victoria regularly see red, come to his house for dinner, and hear stories about dorothy.
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>> it's given everything i do a meaning, a direction. it says, like, i'm following her and being like her, and i have the opportunity to be great like her. >> none of which red believes is news to dorothy. he regularly visits her grave and updates her on the goings-on in his life. >> as i speak, we're being televised. >> he says theirs is a love story he would wish on anyone. a love story that has lasted a lifetime and then some. if you know someone with an inspiring story like red's or any of the people you've heard this evening, we'd love to hear about it. head to to share it with us. you can also revisit all our past stories of people making the bay area a better place to live. thank you very much for joining us tonight. we've enjoyed bringing these stories this past year. we look forward to telling many more inspiring stories in the coming years. have a good night.
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>> mantai te'o on camera and on the record for the first time since scandal pwrochblingt hi everybody. welcome to "access hollywood". i'm shaun robinso robinson. katie couric big sit down where mantai spoke about the fake girlfr

NBC Bay Area News Special
NBC January 26, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

Bay Area Proud News/Business. (2013)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Dorothy 7, Us 5, Alcatraz 5, San Jose 5, Maddux 3, Jen 2, Sandra Williams 2, Tony Whittle 2, San Francisco 2, Whittle 2, Dorothy Carson 2, Oakland 1, Buffalo 1, Europe 1, Alameda 1, Massachusetts 1, Brockton 1, Tokyo 1, Tuition 1, United States 1
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